Housework and Homeschooling

Taking the responsibility to plan for and educate your own children is a huge commitment.  I often think that it is a full time job, but in reality it is only a portion of the job to which God has called homeschooling moms.moms of many manage

This week’s 4 Moms, 35 Kids topic is keeping up with housework in the midst of homeschooling.

Use God’s Standard

It’s particularly difficult in today’s society of ‘Better Homes and Gardens‘ decorating and an emphasis on certain standards of education  (1 Cor. 1:26-27) to keep our eyes on Jesus and adopt His standard as our own.

Our homes are to be safe places of comfort, offering hospitality to those around us. It doesn’t mean there is no need for beauty, but our goal and purpose isn’t to make the pages of a magazine but to offer humble service to others.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Prov. 1:7)

God’s standard of education isn’t that our children pass the standardized achievement tests, but that they learn to fear the Lord and accept instruction.

Do your children accept and even rejoice when you offer instruction or is their first reaction to discount it or act as if they don’t need it? If you haven’t taught this, then you’ve missed the very beginning of knowledge.

Ask Your Husband

What is your husband’s standard for education? What is your husband’s standard for housework? Mark is the one who provides us with perspective and balance. He knows when we need to say ‘no’ and he knows when we can or need to do it all. He helps to prioritize, schedule and plan and provides leadership in all areas.


This must flow out of #1. If we are striving to follow God’s standards then our daily decisions will look differently than those who are pursuing ‘House Beautiful‘ or Aristotle.

Stay Home

When I read in Titus 2 that older women are to teach younger women to be “keepers at home”, I believe that I have an obligation to say this, even though it will be probably be unpopular. I believe that being a “keeper at home” involves actually being AT home. Being at home makes it much easier to clean the house and get dinner on the table.

The fact that Titus feels the need to command this type of teaching indicates that it probably goes against what younger women naturally desire.

When our children were young Mark and I had only one car. I believe that this was a blessing of God to our family. I used the car perhaps one or two days a month and other than that and church on Sunday, I was at home with the children. This forced me to be content with my children and God as companions, taught me to love being at home and I learned to make-do with what we already had and I’m sure it saved us plenty of money. Even today, outside of cross country season, it’s rare that we leave home more than one time during the week.

I once read that children who are accustomed to running from one activity to the next are less content to be home-centered as adults. What our children learn today shapes who they are tomorrow. If they are unaccustomed to a home-centered life as a child, a home-centered life may have little appeal when they reach adulthood.

As always I encourage you to go to the Scriptures and see if these things be so.

School Year Round

Since our goal for educating our children is to follow the pattern found in Deut. 6:4-9, year round education is an obvious choice. In our experience this makes it easier to keep balanced in all areas.  More about how we school year round

Train the Help

It takes more time and effort initially, but training your children to participate in household responsibilities not only provides them with valuable training, but also makes it possible for your family to eventually be producers rather than consumers. More info about training kids to participate in chores.


Have a Plan

After you know your standard and have set your priorities it’s time to make a plan, both for homeschooling and for home keeping. We’ve found that having regular times throughout the day when we focus on academics and house keeping works well for us.

Be sure to visit the other 4 Moms to read what they have to say about this topic:

KimC at Life in a Shoe
Connie at Smockity Frocks
Headmistress at The Common Room
For more Moms of Many posts visit the 4 Moms page.

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17 Responses to Housework and Homeschooling
  1. Shirley Ann
    October 6, 2011 | 10:42 am

    I really enjoyed this post! You expressed so many sentiments that I believe in in being a keeper of the home. What really stood out to me was the comment you made on society’s emphasise on ‘Better Homes and Gardens’. It is so easy to visit blogs and see how others are ‘decorating for fall’, or ‘planning for Christmas decor’. I almost found myself being swept along! As I browsed through ebay to find autumnal decorating trinkets, I realised that this path was not for us. For one thing it is a waste of my husbands hard earned money. For another, nature provides free decor if I really feel strongly about it, and thirdly God reminded me that my home is not made a welcoming place by adding trinkets to it, but by my attitude to the role He gave me to love and care for my family and all who pass through the door. I’m sure my children would remember cool afternoons spent cuddling under a warm blanket reading together over moms cleverly adorned house.

    I also found your year round schooling very interesting and am going to prayerfully take it to the Lord for our family. I ALWAYS find that during holiday time our times with the Lord slip. And that is not in keeping with what Deut 6 has to say about raising our children. Thank you for your insights and sorry for my essay comment ;o)

    Blessings in Christ
    Shirley Ann


  2. Nicki
    October 6, 2011 | 12:51 pm

    Awesome post! Every. Single. Word. Loved it!


  3. Alena
    October 6, 2011 | 1:12 pm

    Thank you for the post. I was intrigued by your understanding of being “keeper of the home”. Right away all these question come to my mind…How does this work with groceries? Do you do any activities with other homeschool kids? Field trips? Any playdates? I’m really curious, because although I have started to spend a lot of my time at home, I do some of the things mentioned above during the week as well. Thank you!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Alena,

    I don’t think that ‘keeper at home’ means that a woman may never leave the home, but rather tells us where a woman is to focus her time and energy. In order for women to be ‘keepers at home’ (KJV) ‘busy at home’ (NIV) ‘working at home’ (ESV) ‘homemakers’ (NKJV) or ‘workers at home’ (NAS) they must primarily be at home.

    However, as demonstrated in Proverbs 31, sometimes being a keeper at home will require a departure from the home.

    The question then is, when is leaving the home a furtherance of our duty to be a keeper of the home and when is it a dereliction of that duty?

    What occupations actively help me to fulfill my God-given calling of being a help-meet, a home manager for my husband and what occupations would be classified by 1 Tim. 5:13?

    And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. 

    This is a question that I don’t believe that anyone can answer for anyone other than them self. Mark and I ask it over and over as we make decisions about what activities we should commit to.

    This is how we have applied this question to your specific examples.

    I grocery shop regularly because we believe that is an important aspect of being a keeper at home (Prov. 31:14).

    We do not regularly go out of our way to do things with other homeschooled children (while our culture puts a huge emphasis on peer relationships, we do not see this born out in Scripture), but we regularly (often twice a week) have families into our home for hospitality. (Rom. 12:13, 1 Tim. 5:10, Heb. 13:2)

    We occasionally participate field trips.

    We do not plan playdates for our children (see my note above about peer relations), but we invite mothers and their children into our home as needed to facilitate Titus 2 relationships.

    I don’t think that our way is the only way, it’s simply how we’ve applied the principles that we see taught in God’s Word. As always, if you believe that we are in error and violating Scripture in any way we are always open to biblical correction and instruction.


  4. Lisa Grace
    October 6, 2011 | 2:12 pm

    That whole stay home thing was a huge revelation for me about a year ago and every now and again we start to get uber busy and God has to bring me back to it. One thing that is so important when you HOMEschool and HOMEmake is to be HOME!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I think that the pull of our culture and society is always away from the home. It’s an issue that we must reevaluate again and again, at least in our home.


  5. Gretchen
    October 6, 2011 | 6:06 pm

    Thank you for these reminders!


  6. Ami
    October 6, 2011 | 10:17 pm

    Love your post. I only wish it were true for me that “being at home” meant getting things done at home for me…I’ve been sick for so long. Please pray. I need God to show up. we are all so weary and I am tired of being tired. I don’t have dinner ready every night, I don’t have the energy to clean…I do make a point to pray with my children every day and make God’s word first priority. Maybe it is a blessing I “can’t do” right now? Maybe.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:


    We are praying for you and yours. Plan to call you later this week.


  7. Jenny
    October 7, 2011 | 11:13 am

    With my husband just losing his job, our current lifestyle has become a huge issue for us- is this really how we want to live? There will never be a better time than now to downsize and simplify, and I love this post….it has given me great inspiration! I’m so thankful that you blog Kimberly….you keep me in line ;D


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Jenny, I just wanted to let you know that I have been praying for you and your family daily since you left this comment.

    Let me know if you’d like to talk again.


  8. Rebecca
    October 10, 2011 | 2:08 am


    Thankyou for your wonderful blog which has been a great blessing to me. I would like to discuss your interpretation of Titus 2:3-5 particularly the words ‘keepers at home’, for some time I have been uneasy that we (many christian women) may be misusing this verse for our own purposes. I feel that the phrase may mean to work/be busy/stewards of the home rather than to stay at home. The term is a bit of antiquated one the meaning of which has shifted over time ` this is born out by newer translations which translate the phrase differently. The net effect is much the same (ie a wife/mother who works in the home in her God-given role) but has a slightly difference emphasis for those who fulfil their role while getting out and about (doing activities such as those mentioned in an earlier comment.

    I am not a biblical scholar by any means but have been uneasy about this for a while (particularly as the quote does suit my preferences) and fear misusing it in a way that may cause another to stumble. I would very much like to hear your view on this, please excuse a slow reply from me as I only have sporadic internet access.

    With prayers for you and your ministry!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Rebecca,

    I’m not exactly sure of your point. Are you saying that we’ve mistranslated and misinterpreted this passage because we (women) want to stay at home and by a misuse of this verse it gives us an excuse to do just that?

    The Greek word that is translated as ‘keepers at home’ in the KJV, ‘busy at home’ in the NIV, ‘working at home’ in the ESV, ‘homemakers’ in the NKJV, and ‘workers at home’ in the NAS, is Oikouros it means caring for the house, working at home, the keeper of the house, keeping at home and taking care of household affairs.

    I’m not sure which newer translations you are referring to, nor how they are rendering this passage. If you’d like to further explain your biblical argument, I would be happy to discuss it with you.



  9. Mrs. T.
    October 11, 2011 | 11:10 pm

    We also only had one car when we had our first children. I agree that it was a blessing and taught me…right from the start…to be content, joyful, and busy literally staying at home. It also taught my children how to stay busy without having to leave home. They do not feel the need, even as teenagers, to “go out” or for someone to constantly entertain them. Staying home also helps to make me a more peaceful and focused mother and that!


  10. Amy
    October 13, 2011 | 1:54 pm

    I love the idea of getting you’re husband’s standards set – although my husbands standards can be very low in regards to housework and bordering on unsanitary. I’ve recently setup a few chores in my routine -don’t always get to them but I’m getting to them more often that I did before.


  11. Rachael Joy
    December 18, 2011 | 8:08 pm

    I love this post! I have just started homeschooling my 5yr old and I’ve been really struggling with keeping up with my housework, supporting my hubby in youth ministry, homeschooling, a 2yr old, and now a brand new baby. My mother was just giving me some of the same pointers that you have shared and seeing yours here were a GREAT confirmation & eye-opener of some of the changes I need to make. THANKS!


  12. Anne Gregor
    December 2, 2014 | 2:59 am

    I strongly agree when you say “If children are unaccustomed to a home-centered life as a child, a home-centered life may have little appeal when they reach adulthood.” We should be conscious about having the kids love to stay at home so when they become addults, family bond will still continue even to the future family they will be having.



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